Infinita at Pleasance Courtyard - The Grand sees the always popular return of Germany's mask theatre masters “Familie Flöz” with” Infinita”. Through a succession of little mini-plays our masked performers bring to life with amazing skill larger than life characters, who are seen both as warring children and as residents of an old people's home. In most performers hands, having their faces and expressions hidden from view by a mask would be a major issue for any character portrayal, but the performers of “Familie Flöz” bring each character to life with only body language and mannerisms unique to each character with such skill that you soon forget the mask is there at all.
Life, death, human frailties and eventual mortality are recurring themes in all their performances that I have seen to date (“Hotel Paradiso” and “Teatro Delusio”), and “Infinita” is no different; the awaiting angel to take you to that next unknown step on your journey is never far away. In this production though, everything seems far more focused on the fact that no one gets out of life alive, and our scenes of early childhood coupled with scenes from the last years of one’s life are heart-warming and heart-breaking in equal measure. Yes, there is a lot of humour here, but also a lot of sadness that most of us hope is still some way off in the far future for us.
Cleverly our story is also told in "silhouettes" (white usually rather than black) on the screen behind us, and this story often fills in the gaps between what is happening on stage. This gives the whole screen performance the feeling of a Victorian or Edwardian children’s “moving image” toy.
There are no spoken words in “Familie Flöz”, and that is part of the magic of their performances as all of their characters are brought to life with such skill that somehow they all still talk to us – perhaps a slightly different story to every audience member.
Review by Tom King
Pleasance Courtyard - The Grand
Aug 4-12, 14-27
1 hour 30 minutes
Group: Familie Flöz